Somenokomichi – a traditional Japanese textile festival

If you are interested in traditional Japanese textile workshops, traditional Japanese textile dyeing or kimono painting, then you should go to Some-no-Komichi this weekend!

It takes place in Tokyo’s Nakai district, an area with a realllly long history for making kimono. During the Edo period, it was Hachioji for weaving, and Nakai for painting and dyeing. Basically, the whole area becomes a gallery, and all the little studios make textiles and display them on the street, so you can see what they do. There are English guided tours of the outdoor galleries and river gallery just this weekend. It’s an area that is usually closed to people who don’t have an appointment, so this is a rare (well, once a year) opportunity to get in there and ask questions and see all the different textile dyeing and printing techniques. Plus, it’s supposed to be sunny and beautiful all weekend,so there’s that.

Have a look at this map to get an idea of how many places are participating. There are studios in Nakai who do Okinawan Bingata, Edo Komon, Tie-dye (Shibori-zome), Natural plant dyes (Kusaki-zome), Stencil dyeing (Kata-zome), and very expensive hand painting called Yuzen (Yuzen-zome).

The river gallery: